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Bob Dylan: The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan: The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan

Mobile Fidelity  UDSACD 2081

Stereo Hybrid

Pop/Rock


"The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan"

Bob Dylan


Dylan’s 1963 Sophomore Effort Marks the Beginning of a Cultural Sea Change

It’s the album the ignited sea changes in pop culture, music, songwriting, poetry, and the social consciousness. It’s the creation of a 22-year-old visionary still years away from casting a jaundiced eye to the media. It’s the sound of change, the feeling of ground shifting beneath one’s feet, and the entrance of an entirely new way of thinking. It’s the effective beginning of what’s arguably the boldest career in music history, the yawning vortex into the complex mind, supernatural wordplay, and folk techniques of a vocalist/guitarist whose name is forever associated with transformation. It’s The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan.

This is the very finest, most transparent digital stereo edition of The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan ever produced. Never before has the resonance of his nylon guitar strings, fingerpicked notes, shivering harmonica fills, or plainspoken timbre possessed such clarity, openness, body, or realism.

With the advantage of wider and deeper grooves, the 45RPM pressing affords the opportunity to detect more information and lavish in extra richness. Whether it’s the exaggerated nasal accents employed on “Down the Highway” or the decay of each strummed line on the entirely acoustic album, previously concealed details, microdynamics, and ambient cues surface—enhancing the listeners’ experience and taking them inside Columbia’s Studio A where history was made by leaps and bounds.

Exponentially surpassing the potential he demonstrated on his debut, Dylan became a mirror of the concerns, issues, and feelings confronting the nation. Writing and singing with penetrating honesty, observational wit, moral conviction, and scathing emotion, he digs into the madness of war (“Masters of War,” “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall”), hypocrisy of segregation (“Oxford Town”), urgency of civil rights and freedom (“Blowin’ in the Wind”), and multiple angles of unrequited love (“Girl From the North Country,” “Don’t Think Twice It’s All Right”) with a literate astuteness and depth that, nearly 50 years later, still leave audiences slack-jawed. Satire, absurdist humor, and traditional blues also pepper the album, which rests upon graceful melodies and sparse, poignant patterns.

Viewed as protest songs, love songs, folk songs, or talking blues songs, the material on The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan remains amongst the most astonishing and imaginative ever committed to tape. It deserves—as much as you deserve—a fidelity that makes as closely intimate as possible the music’s connection with you. You deserve this edition.

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Tracks
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1. Blowin’ in the Wind
2. Girl From the North Country
3. Masters of War
4. Down the Highway
5. Bob Dylan’s Blues
6. A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall
7. Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right
8. Bob Dylan’s Dream
9. Oxford Town
10. Talking World War III Blues
11. Corrina, Corrina
12. Honey, Just Allow Me One More Chance
13. I Shall Be Free
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Comment by Ben Leggett - September 5, 2021 (1 of 1)

There are many who say this album is "more natural" or "closer to the intended sound" in mono, because of the old-school mixing of this album's stereo variant - and I fully believe they are correct in a sense - but I love the stereo version of this album, and recorded music is by definition un-natural and artificial, so I go with the one I like, and don't agonize over the rest.

This is a lovely mastering of a lovely album.